What’s the plan?

People tend to make New Year’s resolutions or set goals for themselves in the new year. It tends to be personal goals like lose weight, get a new job, buy a house, and so on. But what about goals for your marriage or family? Have you set any goals for your marriage?

We didn’t, until a couple of years ago. On New Year’s Day 4 years ago, we sat down for the first time to write down our goals for the year. We each wrote them out separately, using the categories of Faith, Family, Friends, Finance, Marriage, Health, Travel, Personal.

Then we compared our goals and created a document that included those we chose from our two lists. Let me tell you, it was eye-opening to see how DIFFERENT our goals were in certain areas! And I was surprised at how little I knew of Steve’s true desires for the year. For example, he listed under “travel” that he really wanted a vacation away for just the two of us. At the time, we had a baby and I was still a little nervous about leaving him alone. But doing this exercise helped me to see how important this was to Steve. So, we put it as a priority goal for our year (and we accomplished it!).

At first, Steve wasn’t really into my little New Year’s goal setting fun. But when he saw that it allowed us both to express what we truly desired for our year, he was all in.

Setting goals for your family is a great way to start a new year!

Part of setting those goals was expressing our desires for our marriage. It’s a great opportunity to share with your spouse what you wish to see happen in your marriage. Do you wish that you would have more date nights? Set a reasonable goal that you both agree on. Does your spouse want you to join them in an activity you don’t normally participate in? Set that goal. Do either of you want to see a marriage counselor for a “tune up” or take a marriage bible study together? Use this time to discuss what you both will feel comfortable with.

Once you set those goals, its time for a plan!

A goal without a plan is just a wish.

You have to have a plan! It’s one thing to say “we would love more date nights.” How are you going to make that happen? What are the obstacles?

If the goal is one date night a week, an obstacle might be your busy family schedule. Another obstacle may be childcare. Spend some time identifying the obstacles and finding solutions to them. Make a plan.

Your goal-setting will feel very defeating when you don’t attach a plan to it. Don’t just wish for your marriage to get better…make a plan to make it better!

We would love to hear from you about your goal-setting for this year!


Nothing changing?

Happy New Year! If you are reading this, you have been blessed with the gift of another day to get it right! Congratulations!

It’s always around this time of year that we look to right wrongs, increase our happiness, or change things for the better. It’s a time of renewal…a new year! But renewal requires change. Things can’t stay the same AND be renewed…it doesn’t work that way. If we want things to be different, we have to change them.

Nothing changes if nothing changes.

Sit on that statement for a minute. No, really. Read it again. Nothing changes if nothing changes.

Are you wishing for your marriage to be better?

Are you hoping your spouse will have more time for you this year?

Are you sick of running the rat race each week with your family’s commitments?

Do you long for time to yourself?

Are you dreaming of a deeper understanding of God’s plan for your life?

Nothing changes if nothing changes.

Many times, when we desire change, we are waiting for someone else to change. We don’t usually focus on how WE can change something. It’s SO much easier to see how someone else can change.

Guess what? You can’t change them.

You can only change YOU. If you want change in the new year, you need to make change.

Yep. You.

I am living proof of this concept. I spent the first half of my marriage with a laundry list of ways my husband needed to change. If only he did this. If only he would that. What did that list get me? An ego and a broken marriage. That’s what it got me.

It was not until I was willing to change that change began to occur. Nothing changes if nothing changes.

Does this mean your spouse or your circumstance doesn’t need to change? No. They are not off the hook, especially if there are genuine issues that need to be changed and resolved. But you cannot force that change in them. You can only make the change in you first, and pray that God will help them to see it.

You see, change is contagious. When you make a positive change, those around you will see it and, if it truly is a GOOD change, they will want to be a part of it.

BUT…nothing changes if nothing changes.

Change is hard. Change can be scary. And change can be amazing. There’s a great quote, “Be the change you want to see,” and it hits the nail on the head. If you want to see change in your life in 2018, seek God’s guidance, humble yourself and be the change you want to see.

Nothing changes if nothing changes.